Mar 13, 2014

The Water Tap

Last December when I left Ghana, if you were reading the blog updates you were aware that for the 10 weeks I was here, water flowed from the tap in Ceci's kitchen just three times. The balance of all the days, water was fetched at the nearest poly tank about 50 yards up the street from the Kissemah compound.

Josefine, Felicia, Etonnah and Matilda took 2 turns during each lunch break from school and fetched water for Ceci; water that we used both for the house: showers, cooking, bathroom and water to do the dishes used at lunch by the children and also water for the children to drink while they're at school. The girls were the water patrol, everyday they went back and forth, always with big, big smiles and never any complaints.

Ceci told me today that the tap since mid January flows about 70% of the time, only 1/2 days. Today for example the tap was running "strong", she had Stefan fill up all the water containers in the back and there are many: 2 large barrels and then buckets and basins galore. When the tap is running strong, she says filling up the containers is fast.

Today after school, I sat out front with Ceci and Stefan and I noticed that right across the street from the school, so maybe 40 or 50steps, Albert, who is building the 4 story apartment building across the street, installed a poly tank with a very nice area where people queue with their buckets. And since Mawuvio's and Ceci are "good neighbors" - the school and Ceci do not get charged for any water that we get from Albert's water tank when the tap is not running.

So long story to say that the girls don't have to go very far when they need to fetch water for Ceci and the school. Actually since my first visit to Kissemah, 3 polytanks and one well have been set up or dug and the lines to get water are not too long. For all the families that live at the Kissemah compound this is great, the water is close and the lines to get the water when it is not flowing are short.

Tonight for a bit, maybe 1/2 hour we had lights out. And every time the lights go out and come back on, you hear a big UGGGGGHHHH and then a big AHHHHH - a collective grown from the village and then a collective horray when the light comes back on. It's like a huge person is hanging around and only at the precise moment when lights off and lights on takes place. It think it is one of those things you have to experience to fully appreciate. Or maybe I can explain it another way.

When the Black Stars (Ghana's national team) were playing soccer against Egypt last December, because so many people are outside watching the game and by outside I mean, patios, TV shops, at the front of the school, at the bar next door, that when a goal was scored or not scored or blocked you could hear the echos and screams in concert throughout the entire village. I remember being in the back area where Ceci's kitchen is and we could tell play by play how Ghana was doing in the game. Again it was like a giant person was close by watching the game and you could hear the concert of echoes in unison carrying throughout the village.